William Murphy—Grainger Institute for Engineering’s biomanufacturing thrust leader, Biomedical Engineering & Orthopedics professor, and Co-Director of the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center—was invited in October to testify before the Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Science and Technology. Murphy and five other speakers had the opportunity to share with policymakers what biomanufacturing is, what it isn’t, and why it’s important to encourage its growth in our state.
So, what is biomanufacturing? In short, it’s the advanced manufacturing of therapeutic medical and lab devices, medical and lab instrumentation, regenerative cells and tissues, drugs, vaccines and pharmaceutical diagnostics—to name a few. And what it’s not? Human cloning, fetal tissue research, or human embryonic stem cell research.
Due to the University of Wisconsin’s strength in a variety of critical areas—engineering, life sciences, medicine, technology transfer—it has become a globally recognized leader in biomanufacturing research, and has successfully spun out and licensed technologies to a multitude of biomanufacturing companies, some of which have been acquired by global industry leaders.
In Wisconsin, there are already more than 75 emerging and established biomanufacturing companies. Wisconsin files more than 50 patent filings in biomanufacturing per year. And degree programs throughout the state offer top biomanufacturing education and training programs. Wisconsin is already a national hub for biomanufacturing.
With current federal funding initiatives for things like advanced manufacturing and precision medicine, as well as statewide collaboration among entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and UW system students and faculty, Wisconsin is poised to become the national hub for biomanufacturing.